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How Do I Choose the Best Palliative Care Books?

By Nicky Sutton
Updated May 17, 2024
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The best palliative care books are appropriate to your level of knowledge. They should cover all of the topics necessary to provide quality care to an individual who is ill or suffering, and be tailored to the type of condition the individual has. Books should be written sensitively, helping the carer provide respect, dignity and person-centered care to the individual who is ill or dying.

Palliative care focuses on relieving suffering and improving the quality of life of those with chronic illness, curable or incurable diseases, and those nearing the end of life. Whether you are learning about palliative care because you are taking a course, it is part of your job, or you are caring for someone who is suffering; there are certain aspects to palliative care that books should cover. The best palliative care books address topics such as how to support yourself and the patient's physical, spiritual and emotional needs. Look for topics such as the symptoms of different conditions and how to treat them, how to provide person-centered care, and who to call on to support you and the patient. The books should make you aware of palliative care services, such as day care, home support and bereavement support.

Contact a recognized palliative care organization in your locality, such as The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization based in the US. Ask them which palliative care books they recommend. Let them know about the person or people you care for. They may be able to recommend a specific book to meet your needs.

Choose palliative care books that are relevant to the condition that your patient or loved one is suffering from. Palliative care books are tailored to different people and diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, respiratory disease, adults and children. This is because people suffering from different conditions often require different care, for example, some might require painkillers, others breathing equipment and special foods.

If you are studying palliative care in general, choose palliative care books that have a more general focus. Think about your level of knowledge and understanding when choosing a book. Look through the contents section to see if you should start at a lower or higher level.

Some topics in palliative care can be upsetting, even distressing. The best books should be written in a way that treats palliative care with dignity and sensitivity. If you are caring for a loved one at the end of their life, then choose a book that does not cause you distress. Your local hospice or medical professionals supporting you and your loved one, may be able to offer literature that is suitable to your needs.

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